Description: Focuses on operation of the Palomar 200-inch Hale Telescope.
Part 1: Establishing shots. Exterior views of landscape surrounding the dome of the 200-inch Hale Telescope on Palomar Mountain. Medium shot and close-up of dome rotating and dome slot opening.
Part 2: Long shot, medium shot and close-up taken from floor of dome. Astronomer consults with night assistant at 200-inch control console. Astronomer starts to ascend stairs to elevator. Night assistant operates controls that move telescope to required position.
Part 3: Medium shot of astronomer and night assistant at control console. View of 200-inch mirror support system and the 12 red fans around mirror's undersurface which help to compensate for minor variations of temperature in dome. View of lower end of yoke that supports the telescope and of the four-wheeled trucks that support the dome as it rotates on circular rails.
Part 4: Long shot, medium shot of astronomer climbing stairs, then riding elevator up to point where, with telescope tube tilted in proper position, he can step across into observer's cage. Medium shot of astronmer descending in elevator.
Part 5: Medium shot and close-up of astronomer in cage working with plate holder and focusing with knife edge. Closeup of knife edge and adjustment of guide telescope. Close-up of nebular spectrograph and use of telescope controls to keep star image in proper position.
Part 6: Medium shot and close-up of astronomer in coude room loading and unloading spectrograph plate holder. Astronomer removes cover from diffraction grating, then adjusts spectrograph. Close-up of diffraction grating showing full color spectrum. Astronomer enters coude control room, adjusts telescope on a star at coude focus. Close-up of astronomer at coude focus. Close-up of astronomer's hands pushing buttons for control of telescope in coude room. Close-up of slit head of spectrograph in coude room.
Part 7: Shots of various instruments used by astronomers at Palomar. These include comparison arc for spectrograph; the vibrating string clock, which is the main clock for drive of telescope; phantom telescope which automatically turns the dome to keep the slot in front of the telescope; the one-twelfth-horsepower motor which turns the 530-ton telescope.